Flipboard can be a great tool for travel planning
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Have You Heard of Flipboard? Meet Your Vacation Planning Tool

What in the world is Flipboard and can it really help you plan a trip? If you have never heard of Flipboard, I urge you to check it out. As a travel writer and enthusiast, it is one of the most inspirational and helpful tools I have encountered.

My Thoughts on Flipboard

So, what exactly is Flipboard? At first glance, it appears to be a massive library of digital magazines. It is certainly very visual in nature, which I love. But, it is much more than informative articles with vibrant images.

Flipboard is somewhat of a social media platform as well. It is a place for publishers and creators to share their content with readers and viewers. I find the community to be helpful and friendly. It is more about sharing passions and interests, which is a refreshing change of pace.

What about the content? There are magazines for just about any topic you can think of.  If you like coffee shops as I do, there are magazines for that. Do you love art, wine, cars, or pets? You will discover tons of content on all these topics and more. And, the content can be almost anything from an article to a video to pictures. 

How Does Flipboard Work?

Julie McConkey of Miles with McConkey Travel Blog has her umbrella up in the rain near the Golden Gate Bridge.
Julie dances in the rain on our trip to San Francisco. Photo credit: Miles with McConkey

Publishers and creators curate magazines with a theme. For example, I have a magazine on U.S. national parks. Within that magazine, I “flip” my content along with that from other bloggers, journalists, photographers, and video creators. It gives me, and you, different perspectives from other trusted sources.

As a reader, you can choose to follow my profile, Miles with McConkey, or follow only the magazines for which you have an interest. Of course, you should follow other creators that you enjoy too.

You can create your own magazines, categorizing them however you like. When you search for topics or browse content from creators you follow, you can then flip articles that interest you the most into your magazines.

As a traveler, you can create your own magazine, filling it with content on destinations, travel tips, or whatever you find helpful. 

Insight from an Expert

While I find Flipboard to be a valuable tool, I want to share another perspective with you. Janette Speyer is a digital marketer and an artist specializing in Flipboard marketing. She helps people learn the platform for business and education. Janette runs and manages the Flipboard User Group. This entity is dedicated to assisting users learn the platform to build their business. 

Janette is what I call a Flipboard power user. She has over 283,000 followers, and is an expert on how to utilize the platform for both professional and casual interests. 

I met Janette through Flipboard, and have the utmost respect for her. She is one of the kindest and most helpful people I have met. I had the chance to obtain her input on the platform and how we can all use it for travel planning.

Let’s get Janette’s perspective.

What is your job/role and how do you utilize Flipboard?

I’m a digital marketer who has been running a marketing/PR agency for many years. My function is as a content creator and marketing strategist. Most of our clients are in the organic food industry.

I utilize Flipboard for marketing campaigns and personal interests like food, travel, art and history. I also teach Flipboard and run a user group to train users to get the best out of Flipboard.

When did you first come across Flipboard?

I came across Flipboard in 2012. I was participating in a tweet chat about new and upcoming mobile apps and I was introduced to Flipboard by one of the founders making a presentation. 

Flipboard answered many questions and offered many benefits for my clients.

Back in the day, there was a lot of reluctance to embrace social media. Many businesses shied away from anything online. Flipboard seemed non-threatening with its aggregating content format. It’s an old-school magazine presented in a techie format. I was attracted to the beautiful visuals and the ability to control the kind of content I could curate. So I went on to explore it and learn everything there was to learn. 

How has Flipboard changed/grown since then?

Yes, there have been many iterations and changes to the app over the years. But it still retains the beautiful visual format.

Over the years I’ve seen better support for following topics and building magazines. Also, Flipboard has worked very hard to provide users with a community they can co-curate with.

There is lots of support for smaller creators as well as larger publications. All this has rounded out the reading and curating experience. 

Flipboard has further supported the community by adding group magazines to help new bloggers get noticed and grow their presence.

Flipboard has become the “go-to” for many important topics like news, food, travel, technology and even more educational topics like science and the environment.

What do you like/enjoy most about Flipboard?

The community is the best! I have to say that over the years I have met some very interesting and amazing people from all over the world. 

A very under-used reason to love Flipboard is the potential it has to draw attention to charitable causes and bring awareness to social issues. You can use a magazine to raise money and do good for the community. 

The huge benefit (and surprise) for a business is the amount of traffic Flipboard brings to a publication. My client’s traffic usually hovers around 3-4 places in Google Analytics.

I sometimes speak to groups of publishers about Flipboard and in a very short period, they are seeing success with the platform. So by the time I have another seminar, most users are seeing traffic coming to their publications.

I also like the fact that this is uncharted land for many people and we are all discovering as we go along.

You asked me what I liked the most. It seems like I have many “likes”. Another very huge “like” is the impact this platform can have on education. If you put a Flipboard magazine in a student’s hands, they will use it for life.

How can the general public use Flipboard?

There are many ways to use Flipboard. The obvious one is to collect articles of interest. 

Schools and educational organizations use it for learning. I think it’s great for projects and presentations for family albums, travel planning, dinner and food planning, sports, and blogging. Anything you can think of and then some. 

All you need is a Flipboard account and a bit of imagination. Then businesses can use it for email newsletters, presentations, advertising, branding and so many other things.

How can travelers use Flipboard to find trip ideas or plan trips?

I can only plan a trip with a Flipboard magazine. 

First I look for travel inspiration for the destination I am going to visit. Then I create a magazine to collect tips on where to stay, how to get there and where to eat. I look for sightseeing, tips and what to pack. I also reach out to travel bloggers and publishers on Flipboard to assist me in the planning. I flip their articles in my master magazine planner. 

Here’s an example of a magazine I curated to go to Argentina and Patagonia. Several people in the community helped me put this together. 

Do you have any other thoughts about Flipboard features or benefits for travelers?

The community is the best asset Flipboard has. If you join a community of travelers you will get additional benefits like more engagement, more cooperation from like-minded people. You also can do collaborations. In times like these where Google and other search engines are destroying traffic this is almost a must.

What do you envision for Flipboard in the future?

I see great things for Flipboard in the future. Now that they have jumped on the Fediverse. It’s still a little early for us users but once this combination gets going I think Flipboard might be more mainstream.  Also with all the search updates, Flipboard and Mastodon could probably get publishers and bloggers more traffic which will make it easier for sponsors and businesses to rely on curation on Flipboard.

It’s going to be an interesting journey. 

My Thoughts on Janette’s Comments

View from Blackrock Summit
View from Blackrock Summit. Photo credit: Miles with McConkey

I love Janette’s enthusiasm for Flipboard and how we can all utilize the platform to educate ourselves, fuel our passions, and do things such as plan a trip. Personally, I use Flipboard to look for new travel destinations. I then dig into where to eat, sleep, and play for that area. 

Google has recently made many changes to its algorithms, yielding search results that I find unsatisfactory. With Flipboard, you can often find popular household magazines, journalists, and bloggers all providing input on destinations. It is a treasure trove of information, without having to sort through search results that do not make sense.

We can explore Janette’s comments on the Fediverse in a future article. The intriguing concept promises interconnected social platforms. What does that mean to us? As long as you utilize a program within the Fediverse, you will be notified when we post something. Conversely, we can receive a message from you if it is sent from any platform within the Fediverse. I am thrilled that Flipboard is one of the primary leaders in this exciting endeavor. 

If you choose to join the Flipboard community, and I hope you do, please follow Janette Speyer. You will be glad you did.

Until next time, never stop exploring!

Featured image credit: Miles with McConkey / Composition credit: Janette Speyer

Scott and Julie at Miles with McConkey

Scott And Julie McConkey

After 30 years, Scott and Julie McConkey left the corporate world for a life of travel and adventure. What started as a gap year became a second act, and they are now full-time travel bloggers!
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